TODAY | January 12, 2011
>>> and good morning. welcome to "today" on a wednesday morning, i'm matt lauer .
>> and i'm meredith viera and the snow fell hard and fast here in new york , a lot of it.
>> we received about nine inches in central park , a few blocks from us here, but the storm is a quick mover. terrible news for the kids here in new york city , school is in session. it's a much different scene east of year in huntington, long island, where it's still coming down. some parts of this region as i said getting about two feet of snow. al's made his way to boston . we'll get his forecast. we know what it is, it's snowing. in just a couple of minutes.
>>> president obama travels to arizona to pay tribute to the victims of saturday's shooting. this as congresswoman gabrielle giffords first photos from her hospital room. she has a 101% chance of surviving. we're going to talk to a member of her staff coming up.
>>> some problems with the man with the golden voits. we're going to tell you why ted williams was detained and questioned by police out in los angeles .
>>> let's get to that powerful winter storm that's made for a tricky morning commute here in the northeast. beginning with al roker who's standing by in boston . al, good morning to you.
>> and while the snow is tapering off in new york city , it is going full force here in new england . we're in boston common , tremont street is our border here. philadelphia picking up five inches of snow, newark, 8.6, central 9.1 and this is a heavy, dense snow. this is not the light fluffy snow from a couple of weeks ago, this doesn't just blow away , it falls and it sticks and so it's a big problem for people trying to clear the roads. but folks here in new england , they're saying, we're he go again. parts of the south are still reeling from this week's rare blast of ice and snow. alabama, georgia, louisiana and the carolinas called a state of emergency . roads became ice rinks, thousands of homes lost power. now the system that pummelled the south joins forces with another snowstorm that raced across the midwest tuesday. together, they're combining for a classic nor'easter that's pounding the east coast . the heavy snow has ended in philadelphia, but it stretches to here in boston where blizzard conditions are expected. two weeks ago, the east coast was hammered with as much as 32 inches of snow. airports closed, holiday travellers stuck for days, new york city paralyzed. overnight advance crews have been trying to get an early jump on the snow ".
>> anticipation of the storm, you should know that our sanitation department has 365 salt spreaders and 1,700 plows ready.
>> but it's bad news for air travelers, over 2,000 flights were cancelled tuesday and there are many more today.
>> i'm just trying to drive out of here and that looks like it's going to be hours. it's like a winter wonderland out there, you wonder if you're make it.
>> that's a valid point and as far as the storm going forward, here's what we can expect, we are looking at as you can see on the radar, the storm is winding up, the low pressure system is starting to intensify, it's over new york , but new england you're still in the thick of it. through the afternoon hours, the storm intensifies, brings more snow, blizzard warnings for the boston metro area, we're looking at snow falling at the rate of two to three inches per hour, plus winds of over 50 miles an hour is going to mean a reel mess. snowfall totals, we're looking for another ten to 15 inches of snow here in boston , parts of new england as the blizzard warnings continue, new york city you're just about done. final totals, eight to 11 inches for new york city . up here in boston , we're going to end up with 12 to 18 inches of snow. worcester, mass, 12 to 18 inches of snow. albany, eight to 16 inches of snow.
>> that's going to be a heavy, wet snow, you talk about it's good for snowballs. that's going to be bad news for jeff the cameraman, i would imagine, right? it is really coming down in hartford , connecticut right now. that's where nbc's jeff rossen is.
>> reporter: was that a snowball fight challenge?
>> it was.
>> reporter: i don't want to be left out of that. here in hartford , we have it bad, the snow is coming sideways, that's part of the problem is the huge winds. it's coming down two to four inches per hour here. went to bed just before midnight , not a flake. woke up this morning , already a foot of snow here in hartford . this is not a snow drift , this is actually what has fallen so far. in some spots in connecticut , matt, as al reported, 18 inches already on the ground, they're expecting perhaps two the feet or more in some spots in the state. here's a snow drift here, we're in the state capital . this is the road situation, this is a main road to show you how was it's coming down, the plows have come through here, matt, five or six times and they just can't keep up with how fast the snow is coming. the governor of connecticut just had a news conference this past hour, not declared a state of emergency but he has closed all state offices telling all nonessential personnel who work for the state government to stay off the roads and don't come to work today. he also made a plea to all local business owners in the state of connecticut to tell their employees to stay home as well. and i will tell you just from looking around, this is treacherous driving. you probably can't see it from our position, there's actually a plow that's stuck. mike, if we can swing around, there's actually a plow that's been stuck here for five minutes, and that's a plow. so you understand how tough the situation is, how tough it is to drive, matt.
>> and back here in new york , parts of long island are also being hard hit. the nbc stati tracey, good morning to you.
>> reporter: 45 minutes away, it's nice and clear where you are, but welcome to the belly of the beast . we've been out here since 3:00 this morning, and absolutely no letup in sight. nothing like the christmas blizzard that brought this area to its knees. we're here at the long island railway station , there was wait times up to hours. they have already cancelled several trains this morning heading into new york city , about 23 of them and they say if things continue to accumulate on the rails, they may have to cancel more. no school for kids today on long island. we have seen a lot of passes of the plows, but people were trying to get ahead of this. they were out last night, they're out this morning and they'll probably be out the rest of the day.